We charge our phones to 100% every night. Why don’t we do our bodies the same courtesy?

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A third of people in the United States don’t get enough sleep, but the problem is worse in the Southeast, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

In Tennessee, 37% of adults get less than seven hours of sleep when the required amount is seven to eight hours.

“Determine when you need to go to bed so you can get your eight hours of sleep,” said Ben Harrington, CEO of the Mental Health Association of East Tennessee. “The human body actually needs to be recharged for recovery purposes.”

The American Heart Association said chronic sleep deprivation is linked to numerous health problems, including stroke, obesity and even Alzheimer’s.

The Mental Health Association of East Tennessee recommends a few things to help you sleep better:

– Establish a nightly routine. Reading a book an hour before bed with the TV on in the background is a great way to wind down for bedtime.

– Stay away from phones, video games, and TV before bed. Harrington recommends muting your phone an hour before bed to avoid phone calls or texting.

– Make your bedroom the coldest room in your home.

– Keep pets away from the bed. Harrington said your dog or cat will try to get comfortable at the expense of your sleep.

– Limit caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine in the second half of the day keeps you awake. Alcohol can put you to sleep, but the sleep you get won’t be restorative. Drinking liquids two hours before bedtime can also lead to toilet trips.

“If you minimize your fluid intake around 8 a.m. at night, you may not need to get up and go to the bathroom,” Harrington said.

Sleep is key to your long-term physical and mental health. By putting these tips into practice, you can be on the right track to a full night’s sleep.


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